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Christians that don't celebrate Christmas... Why not???


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Guest Virginia Dawn

When I was growing up, my father basically did away with Christmas in our home. He was influenced by many sources that equated having a Christmas tree with idolatry and used Jeremiah 10 as a reference. There is also a teaching among many Christians that Christmas did not have its origins in Christianity and was actually a pagan holiday appropriated by Christianity in order to appease peoples who did not want to give up their previously held winter holidays. Add to that the uncertainty as to the date of Christ's birth, and the fact that scripture does not promote the celebration and you have the foundation of an anti-Christmas doctrine.

 

Many Christians feel that worship that departs from those forms proscribed in scripture is promoting "additions" to basic doctrine.

 

My feelings on all of this are mixed. Let us just say that my brothers and I all celebrate Christmas now in our own way, in spite of our upbringing.

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I have a friend (she's in her 30s) whose family LOVED to celebrate Christmas. Recently my friends' mom married a man who doesn't celebrate Christmas for religious reasons (see the poster above for some of the common reasons.)

 

Of course, the family was very upset that now mom and step-dad weren't going to join in on the celebrations.

 

So, the new step-dad made some concessions. He agreed to celebrate Jesus' birth, but only if they celebrated on a date more compatible to when Jesus' actual birth probably was (lambing season, or something like that--I think he got that info based on how the shepherds were out in their fields).

 

Sooo...the have to do their Christmas celebration sometime in October with mom and step-dad and then they do a regular celebration with everyone else on Dec 25th.

 

I can understand the point of not celebrating at all...and sometimes I wish we didn't have to because I feel that the Jesus part of Christmas is just an afterthought so often. I mean, I just cringe every time a tv show totes out that line about how love and stuff is the "real meaning of Christmas." Because on these tv shows, love and kindness to your fellow man ISN'T the real meaning of Christmas at all! It's a nice sentiment, but just isn't true!!! Just about every Christmas show talks about the real meaning of Christmas and each and every time it's just empty words. The real meaning of Christmas is to celebrate Jesus being born so that he could die for our sins and we could have eternal life with our creator.

 

But another part of me ADORES the whole Christmas thing (the presents, the family, the traditions.)

 

I go back and forth and feel strong pulls in both directions.

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I'm a Christian and I do not celebrate Christmas. I hesitate to get into the whys and wherefores about it on this board, though, because there are many who would enter the conversation with all the reasons why my reasons are no longer valid or aren't relevant or whatever. I might have been one of them 25 years ago (I'm 50, btw) and there had been an internet available, lol.

 

Christmas is a VERY emotional issue. The traditions associated with it are entrenched in many hearts and minds. That makes it a very difficult topic to discuss, especially as the holiday approaches.

 

Whether or not to celebrate it is an extremely personal decision. I came to my decision after much prayer and Bible study and after many years of pondering. At the time I came to my decision, I had already begun having questions and concerns about it. If you had come to me five years earlier and suggested I not keep Christmas I would have thought you were crazy.

 

I did a google search for "why Christians don't celebrate Christmas" and came up with many websites. Here is one that does a pretty good job explaining my viewpoint. I can't vouch for the rest of the website as I just read this one article.

 

http://www.ucg.org/issues/gn61/christmas.htm

 

Also, just because I do not choose to celebrate it myself does not mean that I think less of those who do. I read a tract by C.H. Spurgeon once about why Christians should not celebrate Christmas, but I've also read sermons where he said he was glad that families had the day to spend together and relax. Many folks are more tolerant of listening to a gospel message at Christmastime so presenting a clear salvation message in a letter or card could also be a good idea. Even though our family chooses not to have a tree, presents, decorations, etc. we do give gifts to family members who kindly give us gifts and we do get together with family on that day. If someone wishes me a "Merry Christmas" I just say, "Thanks!" and don't make an issue out of it.

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I have mixed feelings about this, as well. I can see why a Christian would choose not to celebrate, and I would likely not if it weren't such a big deal for the family. It seems to me that Jesus gets totally left out of the conversation and materialism takes over. Ugh.

 

But, I keep at it because it's not worth putting a hair in the pot, at least not at this time in my life. Of course, the conviction seems to grow each year.....

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Jesus commanded his followers to remember his death (the reason for it) and his resurrection. I don't have a problem with others celebrating his birth, but I think the world would be better off if more Christians put the emphasis on Resurrection Sunday instead.

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Guest Virginia Dawn
I have mixed feelings about this, as well. I can see why a Christian would choose not to celebrate, and I would likely not if it weren't such a big deal for the family. It seems to me that Jesus gets totally left out of the conversation and materialism takes over. Ugh.

 

But, I keep at it because it's not worth putting a hair in the pot, at least not at this time in my life. Of course, the conviction seems to grow each year.....

 

I've been feeling that my family's wishy washy celebration is not worthy of Christ. It seems that it would be better to either not have a celebration at all or to consciously transform it into something that is truly worship, not just a day of fun and gifts.

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I have mixed feelings about this, as well. I can see why a Christian would choose not to celebrate, and I would likely not if it weren't such a big deal for the family. It seems to me that Jesus gets totally left out of the conversation and materialism takes over. Ugh.

 

But, I keep at it because it's not worth putting a hair in the pot, at least not at this time in my life. Of course, the conviction seems to grow each year.....

 

It is difficult when family members are flabbergasted by it, no doubt!! I am blessed in that my sil and her whole family do not celebrate it either and all the rest of my relatives are on the west coast or Hawaii so we just exchange gifts. When my mom and grandmas were still alive, we always went to their houses and enjoyed the day with them, just appreciating their joy and excitement and not getting into any debates or anything. Christmastime is the worst time to discuss the idea of not celebrating Christmas.

 

Also, my pastor and most of the members of my church do not celebrate it, although my pastor has left it up to each family to decide how they handle it in their own homes. The church does not officially recognize it though, but our song leader will choose Christmas hymns during December for the sake of those who do and for any visitors. Everyone tries to be gracious about it. I met my dh the same year I was really struggling with the whole issue and he was already going to this church (along with previously mentioned sil/family) so I had a whole lot of support. It's been a tremendous blessing to go to the same church now for 24 years.

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It is difficult when family members are flabbergasted by it, no doubt!! I am blessed in that my sil and her whole family do not celebrate it either and all the rest of my relatives are on the west coast or Hawaii so we just exchange gifts. When my mom and grandmas were still alive, we always went to their houses and enjoyed the day with them, just appreciating their joy and excitement and not getting into any debates or anything. Christmastime is the worst time to discuss the idea of not celebrating Christmas.

 

Also, my pastor and most of the members of my church do not celebrate it, although my pastor has left it up to each family to decide how they handle it in their own homes. The church does not officially recognize it though, but our song leader will choose Christmas hymns during December for the sake of those who do and for any visitors. Everyone tries to be gracious about it. I met my dh the same year I was really struggling with the whole issue and he was already going to this church (along with previously mentioned sil/family) so I had a whole lot of support. It's been a tremendous blessing to go to the same church now for 24 years.

 

That's really neat! (Not to highjack the tread) but I'm curious how your children feel about this.

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That's really neat! (Not to highjack the tread) but I'm curious how your children feel about this.

 

Well, the three oldest have grown up with not celebrating, have grown up in the church, and most of their friends as well as all of their cousins don't celebrate it so it is really a non-issue for them. All three are saved as well and have heard so much teaching on the subject over the years that they actually are more staunchly against it than I am. It's harder for me because I grew up with all that coziness and cheer and the music and decorations, etc. They are more objective and can see the scriptural reasoning without all the emotional baggage.

 

The two youngers have had the same experience as the three oldest, but they are still intrigued by all the hoopla, for sure. The older they get, the more I see them understand why we do not celebrate, and although they like the season and the warmth associated with it, I suspect they, too, will be like their older siblings eventually. I am unsure as to whether they are saved or not so there really is no telling which side of the issue they will land on, iykwim. Since the primary motivation for not celebrating is obedience to Christ and the Bible, their hearts will have to be regenerated before that would motivate them to obey.

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Thanks for sharing, Kathleen!

 

One thing is certain, I downplay the hoopla as much as possible (back to the OP's original question) because I do want to honor God with my actions as much as my heart. The way Christmas at large is celebrated unsettles me. I don't hold it against those who go all out, however, because it's such a personal decision.

 

Of course, I really saw the "seedy side" of Christmas by spending sooo many years in retail and listening to 3 months of non-stop Frosty the Snowman.

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I am not sure if you are asking everyone or just Kathleen, I'll throw in 2 cents anyway.

 

I was raised not celebrating Christmas and my mom and dad always had a special family day on their anniversary instead. We also got new toys when Dad would get his quarterly bonus checks. So I didn't really feel like I was missing out on anything.

 

DD asks me regularly why we don't celebrate holidays and we go over the same Bible stories each time and I reason with her. I think she still feels left out. She has regularly been super spoiled though. :tongue_smilie:(We had a pony and costumes for her last party.) So I think that factors in. She always wants anything there is to have.

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the Bible, their hearts will have to be regenerated before that would motivate them to obey.

 

This reminds me of an exchange I had with a clerk during Christmas time. She made some normal comment to ds (then about 8) about was he excited about Christmas...He offhandedly said, 'we don't celebrate Christmas'. She looked horrified and said, 'oh, I don't think I could handle that.' For some reason it just amused me and I said with a smile, 'If you thought it was wrong to celebrate it I am sure you could handle it just fine.' :)

 

I think that goes to your comment about your older children not feeling deprived. Because it comes down to more than missing out.

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I'm not sure if I qualify as not celebrating Christmas but thought I'd share what we do. We decided a few years back that since we get gifts on our bdays then if we are truly celebrating Jesus' bday He should get the gifts...ALL the gifts, not just a small something while we spend more on ourselves. I presented it my dc right after my then 8yodd's bday and said that the next year on each dc's bday they would only receive a tiny gift and the rest of the dc would receive a huge present. Outcries of, "That's not fair!!!" ensued which led to a great discussion. So what we do is take the $ we were spending on gifts (not much since we only budget $10/dc - dh and I gave up exchanging gifts years ago) and we let the dc choose items from the Samaritan's Purse catalog. I love the day the catalog arrives and never fail to cry as I see them excitedly picking what they want to buy. This will be our third year and so far they haven't missed not receiving presents that I know of.

 

For us (and I say this hesitantly so as not to offend those who celebrate Christmas differently), it felt hypocritical to claim Christmas as a celebration of Jesus' bday yet give ourselves the gifts, for the reason of "showing how much we love each other" or "because Jesus was God's gift to us, we give gifts to each other". That thinking just seemed flawed and, to be honest, self-centered. So we decided to do away with the focus on ourselves and give it all to Jesus. That, in fact, is the theme of SP this year: Give Christmas Away.

 

Maybe that's still celebrating Christmas but just thought I'd share. Now if I could only get out of having to be included in gift exchanges with extended family who care nothing for us or the Lord until it is time for presents, that would be good. But that's another thread...

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I am Catholic. Christmas means literally a mass for Christ. It is a holy day of obligation ie we have to go to church (mass). It always amused us that when Christmas was on Sunday we were glad because you didn't have to go twice that week. While some protestants we knew complained that it ruined Christmas to have to go to church on Christmas. Huh?

 

Also we couldn't open Christmas presents until after we came home from church on Christmas morning because as my parent explained the important thing was the celebration of Christ's birth and not the presents.

 

I can see if Christmas becomes so divorced from religion it is becomes too commercial. Also reminds me of the Charlie Brown Christmas special.

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Georgiana,

 

When my kids were very young, we did a half celebration. They knew Gma was Santa and we did 3 gifts at home(not realizing that the "wise men" were 1) not wise and 2) not sent by God). We thought we were celebrating Jesus' birth even though it wasn't really in Dec before we learned that certain scriptures point to not celebrating birthdays. So we were trying, just were stinky at it.

 

When we learned better, we did better as is often the case. My kids were still young and came around easily. For a time, we "fell away" and went back to "something." So you may see old posts on the old board where we did various things we knew better than. Yes, my teens were preteen/young teens when we came back to our beliefs. They completely appreciate following God wholeheartedly. They are more irritated by the holidays being so pervasive (can't get away from it). It would be nice to go through ONE day without any mention of holidays between Oct and Dec but....

 

Anyway, all the reasons not to celebrate Christmas have been mentioned in other posts. But we had no issue, either time we started following our beliefs, with our children. A lot of people think kids would feel that they are missing out but most 4yr olds, for example, can easily understand the reasoning and even give a brief, basic reason or two themselves. Because they want to be pleasing to God, they have no desire to do something they believe is wrong.

 

Also, we do gift giving at other times of year. My mom gives season gifts nowhere near a holiday. We've not been very good at it but lots of families just pick a day to do something special. We give gifts any time we feel moved to do so (in our case, that is usually around tax return season! LOL). Just like everyone else, we give to our children because we LOVE them all year long.

 

And my kids more than know the spirit of giving. My son came back from Gma's this summer and had found something he thought I'd like so bought it for me. Regularly, they offer me a treat when we're out (Sonic half-price drink, to pay for my movie ticket, whatever). And they spend 3-20 hours per week in volunteer work. So kids don't really need to buy Christmas gifts or work a soup kitchen once a year to learn that either.

 

Anyway, so that is our experience on the kids moving into not doing Christmas.

 

Oh, and we do have a few times per year we get new outfits and such also. One of those times is at the Memorial of Christ's death. This is the time that Jesus TOLD us to remember. We have a gathering where anyone is invited (usually, worldwide, well over twice as many non-Witnesses attend than Witnesses). We shop, dress up a bit more, etc for that evening. We often go to eat as a group afterward. We also have assemblies and conventions where this is a huge buffet of spiritual food that we get all excited about. Not every time, but we try to get something special for those days during the year also. Last time, my daughter got a dress but we couldn't afford new clothes for all of us for each day. We did go to Starbucks one day and another cafe for lunch though. It was special :) We do enjoy our special times. We just don't do holidays.

 

(sorry if any of this sounds funny....ds says I'm really weird this morning and I kinda feel really weird this morning)

Edited by 2J5M9K
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I'm posting what's right for my family and my family experience ONLY, and do NOT want to offend anyone.

 

We went all out for the holidays after we had kids because I was raised like that. Then I slowly started to take things away because the legalistic church I belonged in was SO against so many things. Halloween was the first to go. I never told my kids about Santa or the Easter Bunny, not wanting to place the focus on some fictitious character and draw away from God.

 

I started to talk about taking away tv, radio, stop decorating for Christmas, not celebrate CHristmas, etc. Dh was not a Christian at the time (I became one after becoming a mother) and I realized one day that I was being incredibly unfair. I was always feeling like I couldn't measure up to God, and that's when we left our legalistic church. And that's also when I let all those thoughts go. By then my oldest was between 6 - 8 and dh felt it unfair to stop doing what we had been doing all along. I agree. While I wasn't raised celebrating the TRUE meaning of Christmas, I was not going to start to take away something that was so very special to my kids.

 

I decorate our home in a HUGE way for Christmas. I start Thanksgiving weekend and it takes several weeks to complete. I do a TON of baking. I have made traditions for our family. Each and every one of them look forward to what I do every year. Now I do say to myself and sometimes out loud, "What does this have to do with God?" but God knows we love Him and He knows we celebrate Jesus' birth on that day. My kids know it's not about presents. My boys are the mots UNmaterialistic boys I've EVER seen. My girls love girlie things. What can I say?

 

To add to all of the above, I couldn't take that away from my parents/extended family.

 

So while we do celebrate, we almost gave it up. And it would have been wrong and totally unfair as dh wasn't a Christian at the time.

Edited by Denisemomof4
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So can I try to sum up some of the reasons. Someone tell me if I'm off track. Just trying to narrow it down from the various websites I looked at...

 

1. Jesus wasn't born on Dec. 25th.

2. Jesus never declared it a holiday. Probably also ties in with those who choose to only celebrate Jewish holidays?

3. The origins of secularized Christmas symbols (holly, reindeer, tree) are pagan in nature.

4. The origin of the date for Christmas is pagan in nature (previously a Roman pagan holiday).

5. Christmas has become hugely commercialized.

6. Christmas wasn't celebrated by the early church prior to Constantine.

 

Do I have them all?

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My parents grew up not celebrating Christmas or any other religious holiday. I believe the thinking was that those things were extra-Biblical as well as it being a celebration of the Catholic church and we as Protestants do not celebrate the mass. Then my dad became the pastor of a small country church. The first December we were there the congregation had put multi-colored Christmas lights all over the outside. My parents about died when we drove up. :lol: Over the next few years my parents realized that there was nothing necessarily wrong with celebrating Christ's birth but also got the church to tone down their collective celebrations to a more Christ-centered worship. No more Christmas lights on the church was a start. :001_smile:

 

I think the ministry my parents grew up under took it to the extreme. They never preached on Christ's birth or even the resurrection lest they be accused of celebrating Christmas or Easter. There were a lot of things wrong with that ministry.

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So can I try to sum up some of the reasons. Someone tell me if I'm off track. Just trying to narrow it down from the various websites I looked at...

 

1. Jesus wasn't born on Dec. 25th.

2. Jesus never declared it a holiday. Probably also ties in with those who choose to only celebrate Jewish holidays?

3. The origins of secularized Christmas symbols (holly, reindeer, tree) are pagan in nature.

4. The origin of the date for Christmas is pagan in nature (previously a Roman pagan holiday).

5. Christmas has become hugely commercialized.

6. Christmas wasn't celebrated by the early church prior to Constantine.

 

Do I have them all?

 

As I put in my post, one reason I heard while growing up is that it is a Catholic celebration and, as Protestants, we don't celebrate the Mass.

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I am a devout Christian, I was raised in a Christian home. I can see why some don't celebrate Christmas and I respect their viewpoint. At the same time, we DO celebrate Christmas. I love Christmas and all of it's traditions. However, we celebrate it at Jesus' birth. Even though, I've seen evidence that Dec 25 isn't the real date of His birth, it is still the day that's been chosen to celebrate it.

 

I think you can have Christmas, a tree, presents - the whole 9 yards and STILL have Jesus as the center. I know you can - because we did it my whole life and I'm doing it with my kids. From the time they were old enough to talk, they knew exactly what Christmas was about. They've been quoting Scripture since they could speak. Anyone could ask our kids what Christmas was - even at age 1 - and they would say without hesitation, it's about Jesus - it's His birth.

 

They do the same with Easter.

 

I just don't think it has to be an either/or thing.

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So can I try to sum up some of the reasons. Someone tell me if I'm off track. Just trying to narrow it down from the various websites I looked at...

 

1. Jesus wasn't born on Dec. 25th.

2. Jesus never declared it a holiday. Probably also ties in with those who choose to only celebrate Jewish holidays?

3. The origins of secularized Christmas symbols (holly, reindeer, tree) are pagan in nature.

4. The origin of the date for Christmas is pagan in nature (previously a Roman pagan holiday).

5. Christmas has become hugely commercialized.

6. Christmas wasn't celebrated by the early church prior to Constantine.

 

Do I have them all?

 

7. Birthday celebrations are mentioned only in an unfavorable light in scripture.

 

But yes. Your list is good.

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I am a devout Christian, I was raised in a Christian home. I can see why some don't celebrate Christmas and I respect their viewpoint. At the same time, we DO celebrate Christmas. I love Christmas and all of it's traditions. However, we celebrate it at Jesus' birth. Even though, I've seen evidence that Dec 25 isn't the real date of His birth, it is still the day that's been chosen to celebrate it.

 

I think you can have Christmas, a tree, presents - the whole 9 yards and STILL have Jesus as the center. I know you can - because we did it my whole life and I'm doing it with my kids. From the time they were old enough to talk, they knew exactly what Christmas was about. They've been quoting Scripture since they could speak. Anyone could ask our kids what Christmas was - even at age 1 - and they would say without hesitation, it's about Jesus - it's His birth.

 

They do the same with Easter.

 

I just don't think it has to be an either/or thing.

 

:iagree: This is how I feel as well. Jesus is at the center of everything we do, and I believe all sorts of activities bring glory to God, even if they weren't specifically commanded in the Bible. I think it's all about your heart and whether or not you are honestly seeking to glorify God. I know that the Lord is pleased with our celebration of His Son's birth, and I greatly appreciate the spiritual blessings of that season.

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The only two birthday celebrations spoken of in the Bible were held by people who did not worship God (Pharaoh and Herod). (Genesis 40:20-22;Mark 6:21,22, 24-27) Also, the early Christians did not celebrate birthdays. The custom of celebrating birthdays comes from ancient false religions.

Edited by KatherineNaomi
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The only two birthday celebrations spoken of in the Bible were held by people who did not worship God (Pharaoh and Herod). (Genesis 40:20-22;Mark 6:21,22, 24-27) Also, the early Christians did not celebrate birthdays. The custom of celebrating birthdays comes from ancient false religions.

 

So there is no Scripture that condemns birthday celebrations?

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I am a christian and I wish my family didn't make such a big deal out of Christmas. I grew up in a christian household but consumerism took over much of the holiday spirit. That transferred into the early parts of our marriage and it snowballed into the stuff overload.

 

Practical reasons I dislike celebrating Christmas:

 

- my dh is a self-employed carpenter. During the holiday season most people don't want work done on their home so in certain years our income has dropped dramatically during December. One year we asked my parents for food for Christmas. They made it fun and wrapped everything, but it wasn't a fun year.

 

- I hate the cold. When we lived in the mid-west I would be in seasonal depression compounded by the lack of money to buy gifts. Now that we're in the south it's better.

 

- Do I really need more stuff? No. My family tends to buy lots of little things, and my house ends up feeling cluttered. My dh has gotten better but my parents buy and buy and buy.

 

- I hate decorating for Christmas. I love decorating overall, but rearranging things for one month messes with my sense of order.

 

I would much rather spend time contemplating the christian reason for the season and less time on the trappings of it all.

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I am a devout Christian, I was raised in a Christian home. I can see why some don't celebrate Christmas and I respect their viewpoint. At the same time, we DO celebrate Christmas. I love Christmas and all of it's traditions. However, we celebrate it at Jesus' birth. Even though, I've seen evidence that Dec 25 isn't the real date of His birth, it is still the day that's been chosen to celebrate it.

 

I think you can have Christmas, a tree, presents - the whole 9 yards and STILL have Jesus as the center. I know you can - because we did it my whole life and I'm doing it with my kids. From the time they were old enough to talk, they knew exactly what Christmas was about. They've been quoting Scripture since they could speak. Anyone could ask our kids what Christmas was - even at age 1 - and they would say without hesitation, it's about Jesus - it's His birth.

 

They do the same with Easter.

 

I just don't think it has to be an either/or thing.

 

:iagree: This is how I feel as well. Jesus is at the center of everything we do, and I believe all sorts of activities bring glory to God, even if they weren't specifically commanded in the Bible. I think it's all about your heart and whether or not you are honestly seeking to glorify God. I know that the Lord is pleased with our celebration of His Son's birth, and I greatly appreciate the spiritual blessings of that season.

:iagree:We keep Christ at the center of all we do, and if we are not we feel that we are seeking Him so much with our whole hearts that He will reveal to us the areas we need to revise our thinking.

 

Our Christmas celebration is full of beautiful traditions that we all look forward to and I wouldn't take that away from my kids. It's not only a remembrance of Christ, it's also a time for us to reflect on treasured family memories and traditions. Not to offend, but I think trying to conform to some other "religions" ideas or to look for rules in the Bible that aren't there smacks of legalism. I won't listen to false teachers trying to convince me that something is in scripture when it isn't. I never claim that my Christmas tree is in the bible, but neither is the pretty fall wreath I have on my door. It's just a decoration - no more meaning to it than that.

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The only two birthday celebrations spoken of in the Bible were held by people who did not worship God (Pharaoh and Herod). (Genesis 40:20-22;Mark 6:21,22, 24-27) Also, the early Christians did not celebrate birthdays. The custom of celebrating birthdays comes from ancient false religions.

 

Thank you.

 

So there is no Scripture that condemns birthday celebrations?

 

If you mean is there a scripture that says 'thou must not celebrate birthdays' than no. However, the events of the ones that are mentioned are pretty horrible. Beheadings at both celebrations.

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Not to offend, but I think trying to conform to some other "religions" ideas or to look for rules in the Bible that aren't there smacks of legalism. I won't listen to false teachers trying to convince me that something is in scripture when it isn't. I never claim that my Christmas tree is in the bible, but neither is the pretty fall wreath I have on my door. It's just a decoration - no more meaning to it than that.

 

The OP asked for the reasons that some Christians do not celebrate Christmas. I was, along with others, giving those reasons. I wasn't trying to 'teach' you anything and it really isn't nice to call us false teachers when we are just explaining our beliefs.

 

But since you brought it up, the difference between a pretty fall wreath and a Christmas tree is that one was used in the practice of false religion and one is just a decoration. I do not reject every single thing ancient pagens did--only those that were clearly used in their worship. And there is a commandment about mixing false worship and true worship.

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We have moved toward less and less of a celebration of Christmas. We also don't really celebrate birthdays (we have a family meal with grandparents for the dc's birthdays.) Some of it is religious, some is just an attempt to combat the excesses we see around us. We had never considered it, until we started studying early American history and found a lack of Christmas celebrations among Christians of the time. That led us to do more searching on the topic.

 

We will always need to celebrate Christmas in some way, as it would break hearts in our family if we did not. We don't think it is a salvation issue or sin to celebrate Christmas or birthdays, so we feel comfortable participating to keep fellowship with family. We give each of our children a small, practical gift, and we buy gifts for all of our extended family for Christmas and for nieces and nephews for birthdays. We attend family Christmas parties and family birthday parties. Our dc don't go to other Christmas events anymore - homeschool parties, etc.; instead we focus on serving others. For example, we spent part of Christmas this past year visiting nursing home residents.

 

The only holidays we really celebrate are New Year's Day and the Fourth of July (not as religious holidays) and Easter (as a religious holiday.) :001_smile: We also celebrate our wedding anniversary as a family.

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:iagree:We keep Christ at the center of all we do, and if we are not we feel that we are seeking Him so much with our whole hearts that He will reveal to us the areas we need to revise our thinking.

 

Our Christmas celebration is full of beautiful traditions that we all look forward to and I wouldn't take that away from my kids. It's not only a remembrance of Christ, it's also a time for us to reflect on treasured family memories and traditions. Not to offend, but I think trying to conform to some other "religions" ideas or to look for rules in the Bible that aren't there smacks of legalism. I won't listen to false teachers trying to convince me that something is in scripture when it isn't. I never claim that my Christmas tree is in the bible, but neither is the pretty fall wreath I have on my door. It's just a decoration - no more meaning to it than that.

 

One has to wonder, if you do celebrate Christmas, why you open up a thread and reply to a question directed towards those who don't.

 

I think the important thing to search out and ponder is how does God want us to worship Him, not how do we want to worship God. Like I said in my first reply to the OP, Christmas is a very emotionally charged issue, but emotions should not play a part in the choices one makes regarding worshiping God. Scripture and scripture alone should guide how one worships.

 

FTR, I do not think the choice to celebrate or not is a condition for salvation. What do you mean by "conforming to some other religion's ideas"? What other religion? Also, the accusation of legalism and calling folks who are sincerely trying to live by the Bible "false teachers" is very harsh. Legalism actually refers to trying to earn one's salvation through good works or by following the law. I certainly do not think I can earn my salvation by any means. God extended His mercy and grace to me through His dear Son, Jesus Christ, who paid for my sins and saved me from eternity in hell through His shed blood. Not celebrating Christmas, and every other "good work" I do is simply obedience to His word which is motivated by my love for Him.

 

Why do you feel the need to defend why you do celebrate Christmas in this thread? I think the OP was just asking for reasons why some Christians do not. No one has attacked those who do. This reminds me of the reaction I get when I tell some folks I homeschool. Their first reaction is defend why they do not.:confused:

Edited by Kathleen in VA
typo
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I struggled with this for years and at one point my DH and I seriously looked at not celebrating but decided like other posters that if Christ was in the center of our Christmas there wasn't anything wrong with celebrating. One of the main concerns I have with not celebrating Christmas is the chance for us to be a light in the world. Even though the world is trying to take Christ out of Christmas, it still is the only holiday where people acknowledge the Lord, and even watch the bible story. Charlie Brown's Christmas has a wonderful message and is watched my many children who may have never heard of Jesus. It seems that many hearts are softened during this time, many attending church that don't usually, or come to church plays. If we all stopped celebrating, this once a year opportunity would be gone. In all things it's our heart condition and if we are doing it unto the Lord I don't think it's a bad thing. Just my opinion.:)

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About 1/2 of our church feels the same way, but it's not by any means a legalistic thing. Some families don't celebrate birthdays either, although most in our church seem to just do a family celebration with maybe one other family over for dinner and cake. Those who want a Christmas program and special music at Easter are welcome to organize it, and those who have convictions about not participating, don't.

 

Frankly it's never been a big issue for us. We have our convictions and feel that we're doing what is right before the Lord.

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Also, the accusation of legalism and calling folks who are sincerely trying to live by the Bible "false teachers" is very harsh. Legalism actually refers to trying to earn one's salvation through good works or by following the law. I certainly do not think I can earn my salvation by any means. God extended His mercy and grace to me through His dear Son, Jesus Christ, who paid for my sins and saved me from eternity in hell through His shed blood. Not celebrating Christmas, and every other "good work" I do is simply obedience to His word which is motivated by my love for Him.

 

Thank you! I had to explain this very thing this morning to someone at church when she used the word "legalistic" with me. By striving to obey God's Word without shame, excuse or compromise I am being legalistic? By refusing to give in to the world's traditions or shroud that which is pagan with a thin veil of Christianity I am being legalistic? False teachers came into the early church and brought their practices/traditions/beliefs with them; that which was not of the Lord became accepted, practiced and "Christianized" in the church.

 

Celebrations and holidays are passed through the filter of 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 for us. We examine everything carefully, trace traditions back to their roots and weed out that which we feel is not acceptable. How others choose to celebrate/not celebrate Christmas is between them and God - thankfully it isn't a salvation issue! But is wearying when one chooses to not celebrate Christmas and is accused of being legalistic.

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One has to wonder, if you do celebrate Christmas, why you open up a thread and reply to a question directed towards those who don't.

 

I think the important thing to search out and ponder is how does God wants us to worship Him, not how do we want to worship God. Like I said in my first reply to the OP, Christmas is a very emotionally charged issue, but emotions should not play a part in the choices one makes regarding worshiping God. Scripture and scripture alone should guide how one worships.

 

FTR, I do not think the choice to celebrate or not is a condition for salvation. What do you mean by "conforming to some other religion's ideas"? What other religion? Also, the accusation of legalism and calling folks who are sincerely trying to live by the Bible "false teachers" is very harsh. Legalism actually refers to trying to earn one's salvation through good works or by following the law. I certainly do not think I can earn my salvation by any means. God extended His mercy and grace to me through His dear Son, Jesus Christ, who paid for my sins and saved me from eternity in hell through His shed blood. Not celebrating Christmas, and every other "good work" I do is simply obedience to His word which is motivated by my love for Him.

 

Why do you feel the need to defend why you do celebrate Christmas in this thread? I think the OP was just asking for reasons why some Christians do not. No one has attacked those who do. This reminds me of the reaction I get when I tell some folks I homeschool. Their first reaction is defend why they do not.:confused:

 

Kathleen, I want to be like you when I grow up. :001_smile:

 

Dh and I are Christians, and we don't 'celebrate' Christmas. I don't even really know what that means anymore. No, we don't teach the children that Christmas is Jesus' birthday, and we don't do the Santa thing. We don't have a tree. We do get the children each a few small gifts, and we do exchange gifts with extended family. I'd rather if we didn't do any of it. But dh wants us to do some for social reasons, so we do. Dh has two older children from a previous relationship, and things would be tense and awkward for them if we got them nothing for Christmas. And dh does not want to stop going to his parents for the traditional Christmas thing, which includes gifts.

 

I guess, for dh and I, we just don't see a point in celebrating Christmas. It's NOT Jesus' birthday, as we all know. And good grief, like our kids really NEED more stuff. The whole holiday is so 'me' centered, here in the US at least, that it's crazy. Dh and I don't want to teach our children that we should celebrate the birth of our saviour by being greedy. In fact, there's really no need to celebrate the birth of Christ at all. It just all seems so pointless to us to spend all this time and effort and money on unnecessary things when there are believers all over the world who are going without food and clothes.

 

In fact, last year, for our 'Christmas card', this is what we sent out.

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One has to wonder, if you do celebrate Christmas, why you open up a thread and reply to a question directed towards those who don't.

 

I think the important thing to search out and ponder is how does God want us to worship Him, not how do we want to worship God. Like I said in my first reply to the OP, Christmas is a very emotionally charged issue, but emotions should not play a part in the choices one makes regarding worshiping God. Scripture and scripture alone should guide how one worships.

 

FTR, I do not think the choice to celebrate or not is a condition for salvation. What do you mean by "conforming to some other religion's ideas"? What other religion? Also, the accusation of legalism and calling folks who are sincerely trying to live by the Bible "false teachers" is very harsh. Legalism actually refers to trying to earn one's salvation through good works or by following the law. I certainly do not think I can earn my salvation by any means. God extended His mercy and grace to me through His dear Son, Jesus Christ, who paid for my sins and saved me from eternity in hell through His shed blood. Not celebrating Christmas, and every other "good work" I do is simply obedience to His word which is motivated by my love for Him.

 

Why do you feel the need to defend why you do celebrate Christmas in this thread? I think the OP was just asking for reasons why some Christians do not. No one has attacked those who do. This reminds me of the reaction I get when I tell some folks I homeschool. Their first reaction is defend why they do not.:confused:

 

I guess, to be honest, in my case it's because I disagree. It's hard sometimes to stand by and read things that you believe to be false. In some cases, you're right, it might be better to just let it pass, but I'm sure you've had the experience where someone is saying someone that you strongly believe is in error, and you want to say something to counteract it. Not argue, but make sure that what you believe is the truth is also presented in there somewhere. I'm sure there are many, many things on which we agree, though.

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I read through everyone's posts and Thank You for taking the time to answer my question. We DO celebrate Christmas and enjoy it very much. I personally do not have any conviction to stop at this time.

 

I guess I view it like this... Yes, I do know there are many pagan influences in the traditions that we celebrate year after year, but no, I do not have any idea which ones are pagan or what they were used for in the past.

 

My family are Christians and not pagans so we "decorate" for Christmas. I am not big into symbolism anyhow, so christmas trees and the like are simply decorations for me.

 

Also, I feel that if I were to stop everything in my life that had pagan roots, I'd be in serious trouble. Doesn't our calendar and Sunday, Monday, Tuesday etc... have pagan roots? How could I keep time? I don't know, for me it is the heart at the issue of the celebration.

 

Family is our focus on the holidays and we are thankful for this God given institution of family. We do have a daily focus on Christ as well, but we don't think of Christmas as Jesus' birthday because it isn't. Christmas is like any other day of the year for us in that he is always to be our focus.

 

Just thought you might like to hear my perspective.

 

God Bless,

Michelle

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I guess, to be honest, in my case it's because I disagree. It's hard sometimes to stand by and read things that you believe to be false. In some cases, you're right, it might be better to just let it pass, but I'm sure you've had the experience where someone is saying someone that you strongly believe is in error, and you want to say something to counteract it. Not argue, but make sure that what you believe is the truth is also presented in there somewhere. I'm sure there are many, many things on which we agree, though.

 

Yes, Erica, I can understand that feeling, to be sure. I just don't think it's necessary to call names (false teachers) when expressing an opinion. I was very careful not to attack those who do not agree with me on this issue. I realize how sensitive the whole topic is. It would have been nice if i.love.lucy could have extended the same courtesy. And again, I do know how you feel about needing to "set the record straight" if you truly believe someone is wrong.

 

In the spirit of setting the record straight from my pov here is a link I had bookmarked a long time ago regarding this topic that I had forgotten about. The author of this article is A.W. Pink - a respected reformed Christian teacher.

 

http://www.gracegems.org/Pink/xmas.htm

 

Perhaps this will explain more completely why some of us Christians choose not to participate in this holiday.

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Kathleen, this is kind of a hijack, but does all the same logic apply to celebrating Easter? In our church, Easter Sunday is the summit of of the Christian year, and we celebrate Christ's resurrection as giving meaning to the whole church year. Would this be different in your church?

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So there is no Scripture that condemns birthday celebrations?

 

2 Tim 3:16-17 lets us know that all scripture is there for a reason. On top of that the scriptures are CLEAR that we should not be mixing religions, the ONLY two mentions are times when REALLY bad things happened. So we wouldn't celebrate birthdays because they are pagan and the only people who did so were people who didn't follow the only true God, but also because it is reasonable that if some birthday celebrations were acceptable, God would have let us know.

 

However, in the scriptures, it also tells us that it's not that someone was born that is important. So Jesus' command to memorialize his death which allows everyone who has ever lived to have an opportunity at everlasting life works. Both what he did in this life and his dying was significantly more important than him simply being born.

 

Note: I thought I saw mention but I can't find it again. It isn't that you must get rid of EVERYTHING used or created by those who didn't exercise faith in the Creator. But you wouldn't want to use things they used in your worship.

Edited by 2J5M9K
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In fact, there's really no need to celebrate the birth of Christ at all.
:iagree:The reason for Christmas is to join with the Romans who were celebrating the birthday of the sun on that day. The Saturnalia also played a part in the choice of December 25. This festival honoring the Roman god of agriculture took place on December 17-24. Feasting, merrymaking, and gift-giving took place during the Saturnalia. If you look into the different traditions associated with Christmas you will find all of them come from pagan traditions on a similar holiday. Exchanging gifts, mistletoe, christmas trees, yule logs... anything you can think of will have started in a pagan festival involving false worship.

 

I think the important thing to search out and ponder is how does God want us to worship Him, not how do we want to worship God.
:iagree:

2 Corinthians 6:15 Further, what harmony is there between Christ and Be´li·al? Or what portion does a faithful person have with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement does God’s temple have with idols? For we are a temple of a living God; just as God said: “I shall reside among them and walk among [them], and I shall be their God, and they will be my people.†17 “‘Therefore get out from among them, and separate yourselves,’ says Jehovah, ‘and quit touching the unclean thing’â€; “‘and I will take YOU in.’†18 “‘And I shall be a father to YOU, and YOU will be sons and daughters to me,’ says Jehovah the Almighty.â€

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Also, I feel that if I were to stop everything in my life that had pagan roots, I'd be in serious trouble.

 

Thanks for taking the time to ask Michelle. I do want to clarify that I do not avoid everything with Pagan roots--only those that were clearly used in their (Pagan) worship that has been made to be part of modern day worship.

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